Fort Ann grandson and his wife charged in death of 95-year-old grandmother

July 12, 2017 07:24 PM

FORT ANN - 50-year-old Kevin Gonyea remained silent as he was escorted from court in Kingsbury Wednesday afternoon.

No reply as a reporter asks, "Why'd you harm your grandmother, Kevin?"

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Gonyea is accused of murdering his grandmother, Leona Twiss, inside her Fort Ann home Sunday night.

Police say Gonyea, and his wife Melissa, lived in the home with Leona so they could care for her.

"It's just a sad case when two people are charged with care of the victim and end up causing her death," said Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy.

Leona Twiss, whose husband of 74 years passed away in November, was suffering from dementia and police say the Gonyeas moved here from Florida to live with her and take care of her.

A van with Florida plates parked in the driveway of their Twiss Road home Wednesday afternoon.

Police say something didn't seem quite right when they were called here Sunday night, so they asked for an autopsy. The exam was completed on Tuesday.

The cause of death: homicide by strangulation.

"This went from a potential unattended death to a suspected homicide very quickly," said Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan.

The allegation is that Gonyea used a towel to strangle his grandmother and his wife is accused of getting rid of it.

Police aren't saying if they've recovered the towel.

But they are saying that the Gonyeas are no strangers to them.

They say they've responded to two domestic disputes recently at the 9 Twiss Road home, and they say Kevin Gonyea has a criminal record in Florida.


Mark Mulholland

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